After her estranged brother suddenly dies, a girl embarks on a road trip to rediscover who her brother really was in this contemporary YA novel.
When Ellie’s estranged brother, Luke, dies in a car accident, she’s not sure whether to be devastated that she lost the person who was once her best friend or enraged, still, that he left without a word a year ago. Now, the only people who seem to understand what she’s going through are Luke’s best friend and his ex-girlfriend, who she bonds with over their desire to figure out where Luke went when he walked out of their lives.
As she gets closer to them, and closer to Cade, a boy who seems determined to get to know her better, she realizes that she’s not the only one with reasons to be angry at Luke. And when Ellie makes a discovery that changes everything, she and her new friends hit the road, hoping that following Luke’s trail will bring them answers about the life Luke was living away from them.
Excellent story about grief, and the myriad ways we all try to move through it.
♥ There are a lot of really refreshing things in this book, even in the midst of things being super depressing. It’s incredibly sad that Ellie’s estranged brother died. It’s a little refreshing, though, that it’s a brother instead of a sister that ran away. I’ve read SO many books about an older sister dying, an older sister running away, but I can’t think of any others where it’s a brother instead.
Luke’s best friend, Wes. I was so afraid that there were going to be *fEeLiNgS* between them, or from one that was unreciprocated, or any of the ways that it could have gone down. But guess what–they felt like siblings, too. And neither of them even had a passing thought about that ever becoming something different. And look, I love the brother’s best friend trope, but this was REFRESHING.
♥ Cade, a boy from Ellie’s past who is determined to get close to her again. He is the most precious little cinnamon roll who I love and adore in the present, and somehow loved even more in the perfectly timed flashbacks that ran throughout the book. He asks to come on Ellie and Wes’ road trip at the very last moment, and even though Wes is against it, Ellie and Luke’s ex, Gwen, invite him along. PERFECT SETTING for Cade and Ellie to get some time together again.
♥ Oh, my girl Ellie. I say this not only because she shares a name with my baby sister, but mainly because I just get her. She’s trying SO. HARD. to stuff down all her emotions, all her feelings, all her tears, surrounding her brother and his death. She already had a lot of conflicting emotions before he died, because he was her best friend and he just ran off without saying a word to her. But now that he’s dead, she knows she’ll never have an opportunity to get answers, and my girl simply CAN. NOT. DEAL. And babe, man do I get you. “Stuff it down” is my specialty. I have been suppressing my emotions and packing them up so tight you can’t even see them since I was a kid. I mean it’s not my best quality, but Ellie, I fully identify with you here.
Final Thoughts: I wasn’t sure what to expect from this one, but I am SO glad I read it! So much raw grief and sadness, but still a note of hope, too. Many surprises I didn’t see coming AT ALL and I’m not even going to allude to because I truly hope you don’t see them coming either. Just pick this book up immediately and find out for yourself.